Looking ahead to 2020

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Dude, it's not that they're not trying to get great DLs, it's just that our recruiting and position coaches are just so much weaker than the competition for top players.

Think about it....a DL coach comes in who'd been a successful P5 DL coach for a decade and teaches you more about playing the position than you learned from all your playing time, and he's an excellent, experienced salesman for the program. I remember hearing quotes from recruits like that when we had Ed Warriner and Harry Hiestand as OL coaches. Our last DL coach also had those bonafides, but Lovie downgraded rather than upgraded the staff at that position.

So a top recruit visits with an outstanding coach who's developed talent to NFL and AA levels and gives a clinic in playing the position, and then an Illinois coach comes in who looks like a grad assistant and clearly a novice at developing players. Where do you think the top recruit goes?

I really don't know what Lovie's goals for the program are. He was supposed to have tremendous contacts with assistants to attract the top coaches with both P5 college and pro experience. I don't know if it hasn't happened because they don't want to work for Lovie or he thinks he doesn't need top staff to make the program championship competitive.

I hate to say this, but it looks like Lovie just wants a mediocre team and just keep collecting that $5 million per year until he's milked all he can get out of the job. If he was serious as are PJ Fleck and coach Allen at Indiana, we'd have a much better staff and recruiting results....
Oh Bob I agree that Austin Clark is still suspect currently as far as his coaching ability but he is one of our best recruiters. He played an important role in bringing in that young talent that is now on the roster.
Again I agree that we need to see him coach some players up, which I don't think we have seen just yet. But recruiting wise, Austin is doing a great job
 
       
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Oh Bob I agree that Austin Clark is still suspect currently as far as his coaching ability but he is one of our best recruiters. He played an important role in bringing in that young talent that is now on the roster.
Again I agree that we need to see him coach some players up, which I don't think we have seen just yet. But recruiting wise, Austin is doing a great job
I guess it depends on what you call "great" recruiting. His contacts with Wole may have helped, but those contacts with USC are pretty much gone now.

In the last two years we've brought in Okpala, Randolph (who's drawn some praise from staff), Coleman (who needs to put on a lot more muscle and keep his speed before we know if he's bust) and Holmes (who's still a big ?????). This year he's just got a 260# DT from Florida who didn't get a lot of P5 interest, and there isn't much left in Illinois at the position. HUGE ????? about Denver's attitude and we already lost Singleton to Ia State. There were a lot of top DE's in Illinois this year, and they're going to Iowa, NW, and ND.

He'd need to recruit a heck of a lot better than that to make up for his lack of player development experience.

Perhaps he is. We'll see if he brings in JUCOs, transfers or Texas preps of 4* quality before Dec. 15....
 
       
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I guess it depends on what you call "great" recruiting. His contacts with Wole may have helped, but those contacts with USC are pretty much gone now.

In the last two years we've brought in Okpala, Randolph (who's drawn some praise from staff), Coleman (who needs to put on a lot more muscle and keep his speed before we know if he's bust) and Holmes (who's still a big ?????). This year he's just got a 260# DT from Florida who didn't get a lot of P5 interest, and there isn't much left in Illinois at the position. HUGE ????? about Denver's attitude and we already lost Singleton to Ia State. There were a lot of top DE's in Illinois this year, and they're going to Iowa, NW, and ND.

He'd need to recruit a heck of a lot better than that to make up for his lack of player development experience.

Perhaps he is. We'll see if he brings in JUCOs, transfers or Texas preps of 4* quality before Dec. 15....
Seth Coleman is a Florida 4* and your already bringing up the bust word after his redshirt freshman year. A 3* DT from Florida is better than a 3* from ILL. And our original targets didnt choose us because the product on the field looked like dog ish.
All those names plus Wole in the only 2 years he has been the coach, for a team that was getting mud stomped. Now we win and look at all the D lineman that are visiting this weekend. Some of them have already committed to other power 5 schools. So yes I believe he checks the recruiting box in big black magic marker
 
       
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Seth Coleman is a Florida 4* and your already bringing up the bust word after his redshirt freshman year. A 3* DT from Florida is better than a 3* from ILL. And our original targets didnt choose us because the product on the field looked like dog ish.
All those names plus Wole in the only 2 years he has been the coach, for a team that was getting mud stomped. Now we win and look at all the D lineman that are visiting this weekend. Some of them have already committed to other power 5 schools. So yes I believe he checks the recruiting box in big black magic marker
Dude, it's just that he has a LONGGGGG way to go before he's ready to play in the B1G. A guy who's 6-3 and 200 lbs will get killed in a three point stance against 300# tackles in this league. The guy would seem a good fit for the 5-2 defense the Hawkeyes used to play, but I don't think anyone plays it any more. I'm hoping the best for the guy, but he's really got a mountain to climb in the weight room unless he converts to LB, which I don't think he will. Good straight ahead speed but not the lateral mobility you want in a LB. If he's able to contribute at DE in the next two years, I consider that a bonus.

I'll give Clark the benefit of the doubt until the December signing date. We desperately need a pass rushing DE and a big DT or two to clog up the middle and keep the blockers off the LBs next year. Shipton has the bulk, but I think he needs a lot of work with Coach Lou to get that bull rusher strength. Few preps are ready for that when they come in unless they're remarkably quick and gym rats. Even fewer JC transfers are ready with conditioning and strength.

A good pass rusher, safety or DT transfer will almost automatically make the two deep next year. Let's see if Clark can deliver two of those....
 
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Dude, it's just that he has a LONGGGGG way to go before he's ready to play in the B1G. A guy who's 6-3 and 200 lbs will get killed in a three point stance against 300# tackles in this league. The guy would seem a good fit for the 5-2 defense the Hawkeyes used to play, but I don't think anyone plays it any more. I'm hoping the best for the guy, but he's really got a mountain to climb in the weight room unless he converts to LB, which I don't think he will. Good straight ahead speed but not the lateral mobility you want in a LB. If he's able to contribute at DE in the next two years, I consider that a bonus.

I'll give Clark the benefit of the doubt until the December signing date. We desperately need a pass rushing DE and a big DT or two to clog up the middle and keep the blockers off the LBs next year. Shipton has the bulk, but I think he needs a lot of work with Coach Lou to get that bull rusher strength. Few preps are ready for that when they come in unless they're remarkably quick and gym rats. Even fewer JC transfers are ready with conditioning and strength.

A good pass rusher, safety or DT transfer will almost automatically make the two deep next year. Let's see if Clark can deliver two of those....
He was listed at 6-5 215# on the official roster at the beginning of the year. I wouldn't be surprised if he's at 230-240 by the start of next year. He maybe close to that 230 already.
 
       
As we make predictions about next year, remember: we were less than 20 points away from being 9-3 this season. 6 wins absolutely has to be the lowest of bars set for next year. 7 wins should be the expectation with 1 or 2 losses being close or 8 to 9 wins being achieved via fluke or exceptional play.

Otherwise, next season would have to be considered worse than this season.

Not sure where the 7 wins come from, nor do I care to predict. I learned this year that 6-6 came from the most unlikely of sources, and I’m okay with that.
Well we were also less than 13 points away from being 3-9 this season... Not to be negative but statistics tell lies
 
       
Oswego, IL
Well we were also less than 13 points away from being 3-9 this season... Not to be negative but statistics tell lies

Statistics don't tell lies. People use statistics to tell lies.
 
       
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The team was 19 points from being 9-3 and 15 points from being 3-9. The Wisconsin, Purdue and Iowa games felt like 9-3. The Eastern Michigan, Minnesota and Northwestern games felt like 3-9.
Well we were also less than 13 points away from being 3-9 this season... Not to be negative but statistics tell lies
One of us lied, and I don't think it was me. (The team was 12 points from being 3-6-3.)
 
       
Well we were also less than 13 points away from being 3-9 this season... Not to be negative but statistics tell lies
Someone already called me on that earlier. It's a valid point that I hadn't realized at first.
 
       
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Captain 'Paign
Phoenix, AZ
TBH we had 2 games we should have won but for flukey circumstances or bad luck (EMU, Nebby) and two games where we should have lost if not for flukey circumstances are good luck (Wiscy, MSU). That's going to happen for mediocre teams. Mediocre teams lack the consistency that really good teams possess. With that said I'd say our 6-6 record reflects us perfectly. Now let's go be that really good, consistent team next season and win at least 8 games (I'd be okay with 9-14, too ;) ).
 
       
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Next year: I think D takes a step back without Harding, Milan/Oliver, Green. Current DT situation is terrifying. However O should take a step forward provided Peters is back and we get some of those WR back to go along with maybe a Dre Brown 6th year?! Ford will be a difference maker.

I like Green just fine, but I don't think we miss much and maybe we;re better with Beason at CB and Adams back at safety.
 
       
Dude, it's not that they're not trying to get great DLs, it's just that our recruiting and position coaches are just so much weaker than the competition for top players.

Think about it....a DL coach comes in who'd been a successful P5 DL coach for a decade and teaches you more about playing the position than you learned from all your playing time, and he's an excellent, experienced salesman for the program. I remember hearing quotes from recruits like that when we had Ed Warriner and Harry Hiestand as OL coaches. Our last DL coach also had those bonafides, but Lovie downgraded rather than upgraded the staff at that position.

So a top recruit visits with an outstanding coach who's developed talent to NFL and AA levels and gives a clinic in playing the position, and then an Illinois coach comes in who looks like a grad assistant and clearly a novice at developing players. Where do you think the top recruit goes?

I really don't know what Lovie's goals for the program are. He was supposed to have tremendous contacts with assistants to attract the top coaches with both P5 college and pro experience. I don't know if it hasn't happened because they don't want to work for Lovie or he thinks he doesn't need top staff to make the program championship competitive.

I hate to say this, but it looks like Lovie just wants a mediocre team and just keep collecting that $5 million per year until he's milked all he can get out of the job. If he was serious as are PJ Fleck and coach Allen at Indiana, we'd have a much better staff and recruiting results....

That's a load of crap on Lovie. Our recruiting has gone up a bunch. He made early mistakes in assistant hires, but the quality of players we've signed last year and will sign this year has gone up, no doubt.
 
       
I like Green just fine, but I don't think we miss much and maybe we;re better with Beason at CB and Adams back at safety.
I am excited to get Beason on the field, but Adams himself said he wasn't comfortable playing the safety position. Maybe that changes with more practice?
 
       
Carbondale, IL
Adams did a respectable job filling in at safety, particularly last year, but he's played his best ball at corner. It sucks that with all the time he's missed he only has one year left.
 
       
Someone already called me on that earlier. It's a valid point that I hadn't realized at first.

this could be said about most teams. For example, Minnesota was a handful of points from a disappointing season.

And, we don’t know if they lost an early game, if that would have been a wake up call for the rest of the season. Northwestern was close in a lot of losses, and didn’t pull it off. Had they won some of those, how would their season had gone?
 
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TBH we had 2 games we should have won but for flukey circumstances or bad luck (EMU, Nebby) and two games where we should have lost if not for flukey circumstances are good luck (Wiscy, MSU). That's going to happen for mediocre teams. Mediocre teams lack the consistency that really good teams possess. With that said I'd say our 6-6 record reflects us perfectly. Now let's go be that really good, consistent team next season and win at least 8 games (I'd be okay with 9-14, too ;) ).

6-6 is the ultimate record of inconsistency
 
       
this could be said about most teams. For example, Minnesota was a handful of points from a disappointing season.

And, we don’t know if they lost an early game, if that would have been a wake up call for the rest of the season. Northwestern was close in a lot of losses, and didn’t pull it off. Had they won some of those, how would their season had gone?

Agreed. The good teams win the close games they are a part of. They also win the games they are supposed to. AND they usually get an upset or 2. There are just a few teams each year who easily win every game.

The Illini had a couple bad losses (Eastern Michigan, Northwestern). They had some close games that could have been wins (Nebraska, Iowa, and maybe Michigan.) Add in Illinois' upset wins (Michigan State and Wisconsin) and they were just that close to being a really, really good team in the B1G this year.
 
       
I like Green just fine, but I don't think we miss much and maybe we;re better with Beason at CB and Adams back at safety.
Green was an excellent tacklers, not great in coverage...curbed his targeting this year...if he had been healthy early, think we potentially win emu and possibly neb. He played well this year and won't be easy to replace
 
       
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Green was an excellent tacklers, not great in coverage...curbed his targeting this year...if he had been healthy early, think we potentially win emu and possibly neb. He played well this year and won't be easy to replace
I feel like Green was subject to overrunning the ball carrier bc he was always going for the big hit. Any slight juke and he'd wiff. Give me a safety like FEJ, who would always begin his tackle from a wide stance, arms spread, knees bent...and he never missed. I'll take that reliability over the big hit every time.
 
       
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I clearly don’t follow as closely as many of you on this thread so not sure how our personnel projects out for next year.

That said... the team has clearly become more athletic compared to years past. I hope that trend continues with future classes and guys currently waiting in the wings.

My biggest concern is the offensive scheme, QB play, and general talent on that side of the ball. The offense needs some more playmakers.

Peters improved a lot and deserves credit for that, but our QB play has to be one of the worst in the BIG10

I feel like Rod was too reluctant to play to our strengths this year which was on the ground. I think he’s going to need to personally improve that in his play calling to avoid losing games “we should’ve won” next year. Our strength next year might not be on the ground but whatever it ends up being I’d like to see a stronger commitment to it.
 
       
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Peters has drives where he looks completely comfortable, is reading the defense effectively and throwing smart. And he has drives where he looks lost and afraid. I'm hoping that a big piece of that is because his late arrival before the season left him struggling to master the scheme. Because if he can get on top of it during the off season, we could see a whole lot of "Good Peters" next season. Combine that with getting healthy skill position players, and the ceiling of the offense is quite high.

And that's assuming Williams doesn't experience a similar mastery and beat Peters for the job, which would open the play book. Which is important because I think this offense needs the playbook open to be consistently effective.
 
       
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Peters has drives where he looks completely comfortable, is reading the defense effectively and throwing smart. And he has drives where he looks lost and afraid. I'm hoping that a big piece of that is because his late arrival before the season left him struggling to master the scheme. Because if he can get on top of it during the off season, we could see a whole lot of "Good Peters" next season. Combine that with getting healthy skill position players, and the ceiling of the offense is quite high.

And that's assuming Williams doesn't experience a similar mastery and beat Peters for the job, which would open the play book. Which is important because I think this offense needs the playbook open to be consistently effective.
IMO I would say IW has about 5%ish chance of beating Peters out next year
 
       
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I am excited to get Beason on the field, but Adams himself said he wasn't comfortable playing the safety position. Maybe that changes with more practice?
Considering all of the spreads people run these days, 3 good CBs is nice to have. Wilkerson seems like he's a fine free safety, so we just need a SS if Adams stays at CB.
 
       
IMO I would say IW has about 5%ish chance of beating Peters out next year

To start the season. Peters doesn't have much wiggle room. If Williams can get in and show out (i.e., Tate), then Rod will start him. The key is for Williams to develop into the dynamic playmaker he will be this year and off season.
 
       
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